Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u Calendar News Briefs Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016

Four new species of algae have been discovered in Hawaiian waters. See more below. Photo from NOAA
AN EMERGENCY DECLARATION regarding Hawai`i County’s dengue fever outbreak could happen soon, Civil Defense Chief Darryl Oliveira said. He said the county is about to run out of resources, and the declaration would help the county “stay ahead of the response.”
Hawai`i County Civil Defense Chief Darryl Oliveira said
the county is close to issuing an emergency
declaration regarding dengue fever.
      “At the local level, at the county level, the mayor and I have been discussing this for some time,” Oliveira said during an update by him, Mayor Billy Kenoi, Gov. David Ige and others. “Yes, we’re very close, at least on the county level, the proclamation and the request for an emergency declaration. As was pointed out, it’s not because we don’t have control of the situation or at a shortage of any resources currently. We’d like to stay ahead of the response.”
      Emergency declaration decisions are “truly made by the professionals,” Ige said.
      Oliveira said all of the state’s insecticide sprayers, Vector Control workers and entomologists who work to monitor and respond to mosquitoes have been deployed to Hawai`i Island.
      Kenoi said the county has so far spent $200,000 on equipment, supplies and repellent to distribute to those in need.
      Ige said, “We are making progress.” He pointed to the lower numbers of confirmed cases as the outbreak continues. “The appropriate actions have been taken,” he said.
      Hawai`i Department of Health yesterday reported two new cases of dengue fever, bringing the total so far to 246. As many as three of the cases are potentially infectious to mosquitoes, which spread the disease.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u residents can provide testimony on a bill
regarding rat lungworm disease.
KA`U STATE SEN. RUSSELL RUDERMAN’S SB2516 relating to rat lungworm disease is scheduled to be heard pending re-referral on Friday. Ruderman asks constituents to submit testimony as soon as possible in support of the measure. To be included in the 2:45 p.m. meeting, testimony must be received by 2:45 p.m. tomorrow.
      “Rat lungworm disease is a very serious, debilitating disease that is fully preventable with education and further research,” Ruderman said. “RLW has occurred on three major islands and has not gotten the serious attention it deserves.”
      The bill would appropriate funds to University of Hawai`i at Hilo, the Department of Health and the Department of Land & Natural resources for programs, studies and activities related to the disease.
      See capitol.hawaii.gov for more on this bill and others and to provide testimony.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

FOUR NEW SPECIES OF DEEP-WATER algae from Hawai`i have been discovered. Scientists working with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries collected the new species of limu between 200-400 feet, depths not typically known for marine algae.
      Heather Spalding, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher at University of Hawai`i’s Department of Botany and lead author of the study, said, “I was astounded at the abundance and size of these algae, which resembled something you would see in a shallow-water lagoon, not at 400 feet.”
      Spalding has been collaborating with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries for several years studying samples collected by NOAA divers working in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. She and her colleagues conducted DNA analyses that showed that the species are very different than those found in Hawai`i’s shallow waters, even though they are very similar in appearance.
Heather Spaulding processes limu samples. Photo from NOAA
      “If you picked up one of these algae on the beach, you couldn’t tell if it was from a nearby rock or washed up from the deep, the species look that similar,” Spalding said.
      Limu are very important in Hawaiian culture, used in foods, ceremonies and as adornments in traditional hula. The newly discovered species are similar in appearance to limu palahalaha, or sea lettuce. Scientists consulted with the Native Hawaiian community to develop meaningful names for the new species to honor the great importance they have in Hawaiian culture. One species was named Ulva iliohaha, which refers to the foraging behavior of `ilioholoikauaua, the endangered Hawaiian monk seal, one of the best-known residents of Papahanaumokuakea.
      The species were sampled during surveys between 2013 and 2015 in the monument by NOAA divers using advanced SCUBA diving technologies, and during past NOAA expeditions from 2006 to 2014 throughout the Main Hawaiian Islands using submersibles operated by the Hawai`i Undersea Research Laboratory. Scientists anticipate that many additional new species of algae will be described in the coming years from samples collected by NOAA divers on future expeditions to the monument.
      “These findings redefine our understanding of algal distributions in Hawai`i and hint at the great number of other new species that are likely to be discovered in the future from these amazing deep-water reefs,” said Daniel Wagner, Papahanaumokuakea research specialist with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.
      The study describing the new species of limu was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Phycology. The article, titled New Ulvaceae(Ulvophyceae, Chlorophyta) from mesophotic ecosystems across the Hawaiian Archipelago, is featured as the journal’s cover story and can be accessed in its entirety at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jpy.12375/full.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

American Telemedicine Association
CEO Jonathan Linkous
SEN. BRIAN SCHATZ LED SEVERAL colleagues in introducing the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies or Health Act, bipartisan legislation that would expand telehealth services through Medicare, improve care outcomes, make it easier for patients to connect with their health care providers and help cut costs for patients and providers.
      “Telehealth is the future of health care. It saves money and improves health outcomes,” Schatz said. “Our bipartisan bill puts us on a path to transform health care delivery, making it less costly and more convenient for patients and providers.”
      “We salute the leadership and dedication Sen. Brian Schatz has shown in expanding the use of telemedicine in Medicare to increase quality healthcare options and availability at more affordable rates,” said Jonathan Linkous, CEO of American Telemedicine Association. “It’s a clear win-win for the American people and helps to bridge the 21st century technology gap between policy and better healthcare options.”
      Telehealth is the provision of health care services via telecommunications technologies, such as live video interactions and asynchronous medical data transfers, like store-and-forward technologies. Remote patient monitoring refers to personal medical data transmitted securely from an individual in one location via electronic communications technologies to a provider in a different location for the purposes of medical care.
      According to studies, telehealth and remote patient monitoring have both been shown to improve care and patient satisfaction while reducing hospitalizations. The CONNECT for Health Act is a bipartisan approach to increase the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring through Medicare.
      Specifically, the legislation would create a program to help providers meet the goals of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act and the Merit-based Incentive Payment System through the use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring, expand the use of RPM for certain patients with chronic conditions, increase telehealth and RPM services in community health centers and rural health clinics and make telehealth and RPM basic benefits in Medicare Advantage.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

Ka`u High's soccer team hosted Pahoa yesterday.
Photo by Dave Berry
KA`U HIGH TROJAN TEAMS hosted Pahoa yesterday.
      Ka`u’s soccer team lost 0-2.
      Junior Varsity boys basketball team scored more points than Pahoa in each of the first three quarters and ended up winning 48-29. Andre Carvalho was Ka`u’s high scorer with 12 points. Zachary Kai and Madito Tamayo each made 11 points.
      Varsity fell 34-61, with Janslae Badua leading the team with nine points.
      The basketball teams travel to Kona today for their final games of the regular season beginning at 6 p.m.
      To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

STEWARDSHIP AT THE SUMMIT continues this month. Participants help out the park and the `aina by cutting invasive Himalayan ginger on park trails. Loppers and gloves are provided. Participants are encouraged to wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and closed-toe shoes.
      The hike is around a one-mile, moderate roundtrip into Kilauea caldera down Halem`auma`u Trail, leaving from Kilauea Visitor Center. The hike involves walking over rough uneven terrain on a dirt and rock path, with up to a 400-foot elevation change.
      The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. this Friday and on Feb. 13, Feb. 20 and Feb. 24.


See kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.swf
and kaucalendar.com/Directory2015.pdf.
See kaucalendar.com/KauCalendar_February2016.pdf.

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